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Exploring South Asian participant attitudes and experiences of intercultural relationships using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis and semi structured interviews.

Seroye, Sonam (2018) Exploring South Asian participant attitudes and experiences of intercultural relationships using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis and semi structured interviews. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

As individuals engage in an intercultural relationship they are exposed to a new culture which incorporates certain social norms and values. There is a lack of research which explores how South Asians in intercultural relationships experience acculturation. The acculturation theory (Berry, 1997) is valuable as it provides an understanding of how individuals undergo cultural change as they relocate to a different country. This study aims to explore the perceptions of South Asians in intercultural relationships, focusing on their experiences of encountering a new culture and whether there is an element of stigma enmeshed in their cultural community. Six bicultural South Asians who were raised in England took part in semi structured interviews where the data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Furthermore, the three master themes that were explored includes ‘Concealed Relationship’, ‘Acceptance over Time’ and ‘Hybrid Identity’. The participants expressed a reluctance in openingly displaying their relationship within the South Asian community due to fears of negative perceptions. The participant’s families experienced a change in perception as over the course of time they gave their approval. Furthermore, the intercultural relationship enabled the participants to gain a sense of cultural awareness as they engaged in their participant’s traditions, suggesting that the relationship had beneficial impact.

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